Tuesday Nov 29
Discussion: Jessica Wang, “The Telling of the Case: Rabies Case Narratives and Medical Community in 19th-Century New York City”
Commentator: Katie Powell, Sara Press
Jessica Wang works on nineteenth- and twentieth-century U.S. history and has pursued a wide range of interests related to the history of science and medicine, U.S. political and intellectual history, political theory, urban and social history, and the history of U.S. foreign relations. Her soon-to-be-completed book manuscript, “Mad Dogs and Other New Yorkers: Rabies, Medicine, and Society in an American Metropolis, 1840-1920,” uses the social history of a dread disease to explore urban social geography, the place of domesticated animals in the nineteenth-century city, the nature of physicians’ self-fashioning and the role of pathological anatomy in the construction of medical identity, the institutional contexts of medicine, disease, and public health, and the ties between the public-private relationship, urban governance, and American state-building. This research also rests on Wang’s longer-term engagement with questions about the social and political contexts of knowledge, ideas, and public authority, which she has also addressed through studies of cold war American science, science and democratic political theory, social science and New Deal political economy, internationalism and U.S. foreign relations, and social knowledge, state power, and American globalism. She will continue to develop these themes in a new book project on inter-imperial collusion and American empire in the early twentieth century. Wang’s publications include American Science in an Age of Anxiety(link is external) (1999), as well as articles in the Journal of American History, Isis, Osiris, the Journal of Policy History, Historical studies in the natural sciences, the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, and other forums.